George Floyd protests live updates: NYC curfew in place, looting erupts across Manhattan

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Jim Dolan has the latest details on protests in Brooklyn.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As looting erupted across Manhattan, the mayor's office announced the curfew will be extended to Tuesday and start even earlier.

With an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, New York joined other cities around the country in imposing such measures after days of unrest. The limit on a city of more than 8 million people comes after months of restrictions already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After looters hit stores all over the city before the curfew went into place, the mayor's office announced the second earlier curfew starting Tuesday night at 8:00. That one will also lift at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the NYPD would double its police force in the city from 4,000 to 8,000, deploying to areas where violence and property damage occurred during Sunday night's George Floyd protests - specifically in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

By early Monday evening, the extra presence had not stopped looters. There were widespread reports of looting at luxury stores across Manhattan.

Video posted on social media showed some protesters arguing with people breaking windows, urging them to stop, but instances of vandalism and smash-and-grab thefts mounted as the night deepened.

"We worked hard to build up the business and within a second someone does this," said the owner of a looted Manhattan smoke shop, who identified himself only by the name Harri. "Really bad."

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo said the outbreaks of violence the previous two evenings - which left stores ransacked and police vehicles burned - gave them no choice to impose a curfew, even as they insisted they stood with the throngs of peaceful demonstrators who have spoken out for several days against police brutality and racial injustice.

Dramatic video showed the damage unfolding in SoHo the night before as protesters smashed into luxury stores, stealing items and clashing with police.

Police believe it is the result of well-organized groups infiltrating peaceful protests, turning them into a riot.

The NYPD arrested more than 250 people. Seven police officers were hurt. None of the injuries is life threatening.

The scene as the sun came up Monday morning looked like a war zone, following looting at several high-end stores like Bloomingdale's, Tory Burch and Gucci, which are hallmarks of the SoHo area.

All have been closed for the last couple of months due to coronavirus restrictions. They now sit vandalized and looted.

Some protesters who were out with peaceful intention tried to stop the violence late Sunday night. One man sprayed a fire extinguisher as vandals broke windows, but it wasn't enough to stop the destruction.

Some rioters also set fires. A dumpster was set ablaze, and so was an unoccupied police vehicle on Broadway.

Police are also investigating a shooting at Spring and Crosby streets that happened just after 12:30 a.m. Monday. A man in his 20s was shot in the torso while walking among a large group of people.

The vandalism and violence early Monday followed more peaceful protests earlier in the day Sunday.

It was the third night in a row of mainly peaceful daytime demonstrations, chaotic nights, hotspots of violence and arrests, with the mayor's daughter among those arrested over the weekend.

According to an arrest report, Chiara de Blasio, 25, refused to leave a Manhattan street that officers were clearing Saturday because people were throwing things. Chiara de Blasio, who is black, was later given a court summons and released.

Her father said Monday that he didn't learn of her arrest until media reports emerged Sunday. He said his daughter told him she didn't do anything wrong.

"She was very clear that she believed she was following the instructions of police officers and doing what they were asking... absolutely, she was abundantly clear she was peacefully protesting, not doing anything that would provoke a negative response," he said, adding that he admired her for peacefully "trying to change something that she thought was unjust."

Thousands of people have taken to the streets around the nation to express outrage over Floyd's death and other killings of black people, particularly by police. Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck.

On Sunday, New York City police made some gestures of solidarity with marchers during the day. Some officers knelt with protesters in an intersection as an organizer called out the names of people killed by police.

But the police department has come under criticism for confrontations with demonstrators over the weekend. Shea said the department is investigating officers' behavior in about six incidents, including one in which two police vehicles plowed through a group of protesters Saturday in Brooklyn.

De Blasio, who said Saturday that the officers acted while under attack, shifted his tone Monday, saying, "it is still not acceptable for our officers to ever drive into a crowd."

On Sunday, video posted to social media showed a police officer pulling a gun and pointing it at demonstrators on a debris-littered Manhattan street. The officer holds the gun up for about five seconds, people to hurry away, and then a supervisor comes over and ushers the officer away. De Blasio called for the department to strip the officer of his gun and badge immediately, though the mayor noted that he didn't know all the circumstances surrounding the moment captured on video.

"It is not the place of an officer to pull a gun on a crowd knowing that there are peaceful protesters in that crowd," de Blasio said.

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio also reminded New Yorkers participating in protests to take proper health precautions and wear face coverings while we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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